About Salik Shah

Salik Shah is the founding editor and publisher of Mithila Review, a quarterly journal of international science fiction and fantasy. His poetry, fiction and nonfiction has appeared in leading publications including Open Democracy, Strange Horizons, Asimov’s Science Fiction, Juggernaut, etc. He grew up in Kathmandu, and lives in New Delhi. You can find him on Twitter: @salik.

Future of India Fellow

I am now a Future of India Fellow!

The four-week long fellowship program to be held in New Delhi from June 11 – July 6, 2018 will be attended by “a distinguished cohort of highly motivated individuals selected through a rigorous process from applicants across the world studying in some of the world’s leading universities…. This is an exciting opportunity for bright young people across India to come together and think through the Future of India with those at the apex of India’s policymaking.” 

About the Fellowship

“The Fellowship will focus on developing an understanding of the political considerations and implications of different policy choices to build a new generation of liberal, democratic and compassionate young leaders across India. Senior Congress leaders like P. Chidambaram, Salman Khurshid, Sam Pitroda, Jairam Ramesh, Ajay Maken, K Raju, Shashi Tharoor, Meenakshi Natarajan, Sachin Pilot and academics and activists have committed to teaching parts of the course. The Fellowship will bridge the gap between the theory and practice of policymaking, by facilitating interactions with leading policymakers, field visits, and simulation exercises.

The idea is to broad-base the NSUI platform to offer space for multiple forms of political activity and give bright young people an opportunity to engage with Congress leaders they may otherwise not have access to. This is an attempt too to provide space to young people who are aligned with Congress ideology but *not ready* to join the Party.” [* emphasis yours truly.* ]

Here’s what really excited me about the program:

Week 1

– Public Policy & Analysis – Role of the State in Development
– The Birth and Evolution of Indian Policy
– Governance and Public Institutions: 
Strengthening Democracy and the Current Crisis
– Reforming the State: Limits of Democratic Government
– Public Administration and Management
– Tryst with Destiny – Indian Economic Policy

Week 2


– Role of the State – Ensuring Access
– Bridging the Bharath vs India Divide
– Resource Management
– Reforming the State: Limits of Democratic Government
– Legal System
– India’s Place in the world

Week 3

– Role of State – Ensuring Equity
– Governance and Public Management
– Reforming the state: Limits of Democratic Government
– Ensuring Sustainable Development
– Power to the people
– Urban Poverty and Citizenship
– Careers in Politics and Public Policy

Week 4

– Fundamentals of Democratic Nations
– Role of State – Ensuring Justice
– Conflict Management in a Democracy
– Electoral Management and Power Politics
– India’s Place in the World
– Policy Communications

Be the change!   ️    

By |2018-07-03T03:40:03+00:00June 1st, 2018|Leadership|0 Comments

The City Was Missing

“The City Was Missing,” one of my city poems appear in the latest issue of Star*Line, edited by Vince Gotera, and published by SFPA: Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (America). I just received a contributor’s copy, and the cover illustration is gorgeous, also the poems!

The opening two lines of this poem will be featured in The Mumbai Collaborative Poetry Project (MCPP) — the first ever video poem themed on the city of Mumbai — curated by Vinita Agrawal. Twenty-five poets will be featured in the project, including Nabina Das and Priya Sarukkai Chabria.

Here are my notes for the poem from March 22, 2015:

“Two weeks after The New York Times asked PM Modi to speak about the mounting violence against India’s religious minorities, he broke his dangerous silence. ‘My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly,’ he assured Christian leaders. The attack on a Navi Mumbai church this Saturday showed that it would take more than rhetoric from the iron man of secular India to protect its minorities. This poem is a warning against the departure of religious tolerance and cosmopolitan spirit from Mumbai, formerly Bombay. (The city’s name was officially changed to Mumbai at the behest of a local Hindu-nationalist party because Bombay sounded so British.) Ultimately, it is about our personal relationships with cities we come to associate ourselves with.”

“The City Was Missing” first appeared in my poetry collection Khas Pidgin (Amazon, Barnes & Noble & iBooks). If you haven’t purchased or read it already and would like to receive a review copy, let me know. Happy reading! ???

By |2018-02-22T04:46:31+00:00February 22nd, 2018|Poetry, Writing Life|0 Comments

The Indian Experience: Three Poems

Three of my poems “At Rajiv Chowk Metro Station,” “Khas Pidgin” and “Foreign Tongue” appear in the latest Sage issue of Coldnoon, an international journal of travel writing & traveling cultures. These poems are part of my debut collection, Khas Pidgin.

PDF: https://coldnoon.com/…/12/The-Winter-is-Coming-to-an-End.pdf
Text: https://coldnoon.com/…/sage…/the-winter-is-coming-to-an-end/

I think I wrote the poem “Khas Pidgin” in 2009, and “Foreign Tongue” in 2014? I am certain that I wrote “At Rajiv Chowk Metro Station” in 2014, because I have these notes for the poem written for a poetry-challenged friend the same year:

While waiting for the train at Rajiv Chowk, I was reading Amit Chaudhuri’s essay titled “Beyond ‘Confidence’: Rushdie and the Creation Myth of Indian writing in English” from his collection Clearing House.

He writes that there was Indian writing in English before Rushdie, a fact that the arriviste India seems to have forgotten. He concludes:

That’s why Indian writing, in the last one hundred and fifty years, represents not so much a one-dimensional struggle for, or embodiment, power, as a many-sided cosmopolitan. It isn’t enough, today, to celebrate Indian writing’s ‘success,’ after having identified what its marks of success are (as if the whole tradition must only, and constantly, be thought of as an arriviste would be); one needs to engage with its long, subterranean history (as hard-earned as political freedom itself) of curiosity and openness.

When I closed the book and lifted my eyes, they caught a brief but warm reflection of a face on the glass door of the metro. I thought it was mine, but I can’t be certain now.

The Indian writing in English is a blob and its seeming triumph, perhaps a brief rupture in what the western critics (dust and chatter) consider their canon (text).

And Indian writers (brown light) writing in English can’t be blamed for not knowing exactly who they are writing for (and the question is irrelevant, Chauduri argues)—they are faceless dots in the literary world, the mirror of their times.
___

PDF: https://coldnoon.com/…/12/The-Winter-is-Coming-to-an-End.pdf
Text: https://coldnoon.com/…/sage…/the-winter-is-coming-to-an-end/

By |2018-02-01T22:01:15+00:00January 2nd, 2018|Poetry|0 Comments

The Battles for Justice: No Country for Women

“The Battles for Justice: No Country for Women” is an illustrated dispatch from India on the women’s struggle for justice from the times of the epic Mahabharata to the rise of a Hindu government and god-men in India. It’s a personal and complicated reaction to the rare conviction of a god-man, who sexually exploited women with impunity for more than fifteen years, and had armed goons, policemen and politicians in his pocket. His conviction resulted in the death of 38 people. In 14 black and white pages, “The Battles for Justice: No Country for Women” illustrates the nation’s complex feelings about what the judgment, and the subsequent unrest and killings, mean for the women’s struggle for justice.

Our Gumroad bundle contains digital edition in three formats: Kindle (mobi), Android & iBooks (epub), and comic book (pdf): http://gumroad.com/battlesforjustice. Also available to purchase at Amazon and Smashwords.

By |2017-10-10T14:09:48+00:00October 10th, 2017|Comics, Graphic|0 Comments

The Story of India’s Partition: 2nd Edition!

Paperback available to order from Amazon POD.

Illustrated by Anju Shah, the newly redesigned and updated edition of “The Story of India’s Partition: The Making of India and Pakistan” is now available on Amazon and Smashwords. You can order the new gorgeous edition as a digital bundle in three formats (epub, mobi & pdf) from Gumroad: https://gumroad.com/l/partition (Recommended!)

Paperback available to order from Amazon POD. (We’re looking for mass-market publishers in India and UK to print and distribute this book so that it becomes more affordable and accessible. If you know someone, hope you’ll pass on the link. Gracias!)

About:

On July 8, 1947, Cyril Radcliffe arrived in India for the first time. He had five weeks and four judges to settle the boundary between the newly independent India and a newborn state of Pakistan. After drawing the “ Radcliffe Line,” the British officer burnt his papers, refused his fee, and left the wounded continent never to set foot on it again. Based on W.H. Auden’s famous poem, “Partition,” this is an illustrated account of the man who oversaw the controversial border settlement which left one million dead and twelve million homeless and permanently displaced.

By |2017-10-10T12:13:19+00:00October 10th, 2017|Comics, Graphic|0 Comments

New Book: The Story of India’s Partition

On July 8, 1947, Cyril Radcliffe arrived in India for the first time. He had five weeks and four judges to settle the boundary between the newly independent India and a newborn state of Pakistan. After drawing the “ Radcliffe Line,” the British officer burnt his papers, refused his fee, and left the wounded continent never to set foot on it again. Based on W.H. Auden’s famous poem, “Partition,” this is an illustrated account of the man who oversaw the controversial border settlement which left one million dead and twelve million homeless and permanently displaced.

Available to purchase on Apple iTunes Store & Amazon.com.

Sample Pages:

Back:

Available to purchase on Apple iTunes Store & Amazon.com.

Update: August 19, 2017

Yay! Our debut picture book, “The Story of India’s Partition,” is currently No. 1 New Release in Children’s Biography Comics on Amazon.com right now. Thank you for your love and support!

By |2017-08-19T06:37:30+00:00July 24th, 2017|Comics, Graphic, Press, Writing Life|0 Comments

Unmaking the Post-Truth World With Global SF | Locus Magazine

On the origin, scope and purpose of Mithila Review—my guest post, “Unmaking the Post-Truth World With Global SF,” is now up at Locus Magazine. Excerpt:

Mithila is a glorious kingdom ruled by philosopher kings in the Sanskrit epic Ramayana. Millennia later, say in an alternate universe, it’s a decolonized terrain beset with intolerance and violence, a symbol of a civilization in decline.

Science fiction and fantasy that draws its power from actual science and history—a scientific spirit based on evidence, logic and rationality—could be a fluid and powerful language of protest in the new era of demagogues; science fiction could be a new language of awakening and enlightenment in the post-truth world. This was the core belief around which Ajapa and I built Mithila Review, a new kind of open journal with an inherently global bent in an increasing privatized and closed world.

Mithila Review grew out of our innermost fears, needs and concerns. We wanted to counter the growing climate of hate and injustice that surround us, and we knew we couldn’t do it alone, from an invisible, electrified patch of our planet. From the beginning, it was self-evident that we couldn’t hope to win against our enemy—the ideology of segregation and hate—without recognizing, addressing, or overcoming the many differences within and outside SF communities.

We chose to stubbornly believe that Mithila, as a referent, could speak to the times when we have felt that we don’t quite belong; when we liberated our anger and pain in ways that have fed the creative river within us. It’s been deeply gratifying to see that we were not wrong in our belief. Flash-forward a year, Mithila Review is a beautiful example of what we can accomplish together; it’s the result of a global mindset and collective effort. With contributors from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas, Mithila Review has evolved into a global platform for a spectacular gamut of humanity—not a single language, gender or race, its singular tribes or colorful nationalities.

You can read the complete post here at Locus Magazine. Many thanks to Alvaro Zinos-Amaro and Locus team!

To support us, please subscribe to Mithila Review through Patreon or Weightless Books.

 

By |2017-04-22T07:04:21+00:00April 22nd, 2017|Mithila Review, Press|0 Comments
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